Falklands 82

We trained for war,

Lived violent lives.

Fresh faced boys,

With pretty wives.

To keep the peace,

To end aggression.

Oust the foe,

Perhaps teach a lesson.

Of foreign shores,

Sand mud and shit.

But British soil,

For we now lie in it.

My name,


A mother’s son,

So far from home.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Freda McKay:
Within 16 years, Freda McKay has lost all five of the men central to her life. Her eldest son Ian, 29, one of two men given a posthumous Victoria Cross after the conflict, was the first to die. Sergeant Ian McKay was killed two days before the liberation, displaying "courage and leadership of the highest order and an inspiration to all those around him", according to the award citation. He stormed and took an Argentinian position that was pinning down and endangering his men during the British advance on the capital

After not wanting to know the place, I went to the Falklands as a VIP in 1999 for three weeks and visited Ian's memorial on Longdon. It was very emotional. In 2000, I went as an ordinary person for three months and helped Trudy McPhee and the family at Brookfield farm. I did all the ironing. I have never worked so hard in my life.

Before the soldiers' bodies were brought back from the Falklands, I caused a small stir when Prince Charles asked me at a ceremony at Aldershot whether it had been worth it. I said, I am sorry but never in 1,000 years will you persuade me that it was worth it. My feeling now is that in some ways it was worth it for the people who live there; but not for me.

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